Finding good restaurants today can be quite challenging; it takes exceptional food, great service and good leadership skills to run a successful establishment. With many dining options to choose from, you’d think having a lot of competition might ‘up their game’ as far as what it means to be the golden standard (4-5 star rating). Unfortunately this couldn’t be further from the truth. With so many restaurant chains now in America, the days of old fashioned supper clubs with great menus and a consistent wait staff seem are becoming obsolete.  Good communication skills, team work and encouragement from management are necessary to create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Preparations in food as well as quality need to be met; it’s an investment in time for both employees and management. Expectations should always be taken seriously by everyone. Simply put…it takes all of those things and more to make a great restaurant.

Recently, my experiences have been disappointing and unpleasant while dining out in several restaurants, such as Longhorn, Olive Garden and Mimi’s; to name a few.  I would rather choose a privately owned restaurant over a chain on any given day. The experiences at these places were disastrous. Starting with the service…It’s as if the wait staff could care less that you are there and you’re the one impending on their time. If not that, then maybe your server is rushing around like a chicken with their head cut off, yet it’s not busy during your visit. They rush by your table with few words because they can’t handle more than 2-3 tables or maybe feel overwhelmed because they’re short-handed. Either way, these people need to find other fields of work, or management needs to step up their game. What about food quality, or shall I say ‘Lack of’. This past weekend I ordered a Prime Rib sandwich; disaster!  The meat was shaved so thin it tasted very old, like a dried out Arby’s sandwich, this was not prime rib meat; my stomach was in horrendous pain for the remainder of the day. After calling out the manager, we showed her what the food looked like, not to mention the lack of service provided and an apology was made by the manager; we were not charged, but will never order food there again. I had a similar experience weeks back at a different establishment…and yes, both were at chains listed here. I received a call from the district manager to let me know that he takes his business very seriously; though now it’s unfortunate it has happened at a sister property; owned by the same multi-brand chains; a Fortune 500 Company named Darden Restaurants.

The declining of good service and quality of food is problematic, example being at Mimi’s; ordered a Rueben Sandwich, and once home realized it was ham inside; probably why it was distasteful “did the chef even know how to make it?” I’m exhausted calling these places to tell them about their issues; they should take it seriously enough to clean house. I worked as a waitress; I took it to heart and did it to the best of my abilities. In turn I had loyal customers that waited no matter how long, to be seated in my section. I smiled, I helped other wait staff and never ran around crazily when short-handed, and we all handled it professionally; working together as a team. Doesn’t management explain these things when hiring? Maybe some management never waited on tables, they come out of college as ‘know-it-alls’ placing themselves above others. There are serious issues in many of these places; including fast-food. At Subway this month the bill was $12.09, the clerk was handed $20.09; after ringing the register as if it was the correct amount, she panicked, calling another from the back. This clerk pulled out a smart phone to use the calculator! We were in disbelief! Explaining that $8.00 was owed, but looked like a deer in headlights and insisted using the calculator. WOW, really? I would love to be a secret shopper for one of these multi brand chains so I could tell them what’s really going on in their establishments; it’s atrocious. Quite frankly, the food and service are just poor; I’m thoroughly disappointed in more ways than one. I can’t stomach one more disastrous meal or staff incompetence; I’m staying home.

Make your week count.